Waiting for a Flying Car?

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Jan 31, 2006
You won't have to wait long.
Terrafugia, a US-based company developing practical flying cars.Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by five MIT graduates; since then, the company has delivered a number of working prototypes. Terrafugia aims to deliver its first flying car to the market in 2019, with the world’s first VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) flying car being made available by 2023. Terrafugia has already developed and flown two full-scale prototypes (one in 2009, the second in 2012), and has received all of the special legal approvals necessary to bring the Transition to market in the US. Terrafugia’s ‘The Transition’ is a practical flying car. A folding-wing, two-seat, roadable aircraft, the Transition is designed to fly like a typical Light Sport Aircraft in the air and drive like a typical car on the ground. It will run on premium unleaded automotive gasoline, fit in a standard construction single-car garage, and convert between flight and drive modes in less than one minute. In the air, the Transition will have a cruise range of 400 miles with top speeds up to 100 miles per hour, with a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet. The Rotax 912 iS 4-cylinder engine has a fuel burn at cruise of 5 gallons per hour. The Rotax 912 iS Sport engine offers a TBO (time between overhauls) of 2,000 hours. On the ground, the Transition will drive at highway speeds. The Transition will be equipped with a full suite of automotive safety features, including airbags, pre-tensioning load-limiting seatbelts, a crumple zone, safety cage, and more, in addition to a full vehicle parachute.
Originally Posted By: JohnnyJohnson
You'll have flying cars crashing all over the place it isn't going to last long.
This is what I think. It would be great if your typical texting distracted driver didn't exist
The current projected price is between $300K and $400K. For that kind of money, you'd get a very slow airplane that can be driven on the road as a very slow car and you'd still need some sort of airman certificate to fly the thing, which is neither easy nor cheap. That kind of money would buy anyone both a nice and fast single with a real aircraft engine plus a nice and fast car with a real automotive engine. Hard to see where this thing would fit in or make any sense. There have been actual flying cars in the past and they made no sense either. Too compromised in both roles. The notion of a VTOL version is almost too laughable to even comment on, but suffice it to say that the power requirements alone would make the typical turbine helicopter seem like quite the deal.
Originally Posted By: KrisZ
Technical limitations aside, this concept is simply dead without full automation.
Party pooper I do concur with you. But it's fun to dream.
While it's sounds cool., I don't think it'll happen. Sounds to me like Elio. They'll put a date out there and keep pushing it out for eternity.
Old news. There have been several in the past and some in limited series production. Seems inevitable that any flying car design will be compromised both as a car and as an aircraft.
There is no need for something that can do both things. Just go straight to vertical takeoff and landing then there is no need for the car [censored]. I would love to have a mini helicopter that could haul a ton of cargo, four people, and have the footprint of a crew cab truck.
Originally Posted By: JohnnyJohnson
You'll have flying cars crashing all over the place it isn't going to last long.
Unlikely to have unrestricted access everywhere. My guess is it will still follow a designated flight path with designated crash land spot. You don't want amateurs flying into power lines.
You can actually get pretty close to this in some current helos. Of course, you'd need both a PPL and a rating to fly the thing, purchase cost would make the money people spend on high-end trucks look like a bargain and fuel and maintenance expense would be backbreaking even if someone gave you the machine for free. Nothing is cheap when it comes to flying machines.
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